Alternate Realities - Selection of Works from the Collection - Summer 2019
From May 2019
Emily Mae Smith
This summer, Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal presents a selection of works from its collection under the theme ‘Alternate Realities’. At a time where the virtual collides with the real world, reality multiplies itself. In a world of accelerated mediatization where images are everflowing, the truth becomes increasingly hard to decipher.
The work of art is the perfect exemplification of a derivation of reality and a presentation of the infinite possibilities of the imaginary. Closely linked to the idea of illusion, works of art play with concrete reality, punctuating it with contrasts and asymmetries which act as layers of experience making up the fabric of our existence. In his time, Plato had already linked the concept of illusion to art by calling out its insidious ability to deceive man. Serving us an altered conception of reality, art would keep us from accessing reality, thus preventing us from understanding and engaging with the real world in order to behave well in society. But aren’t artworks rather microcosms of alternate realities allowing us to better grasp our own reality?
Alternate Realities is an opportunity to sharpen our eyes by challenging them with a variety of artworks flirting with the idea of reality and deceitful appearances, such as the realist paintings of Alonsa Guevara and Sayre Gomez, the surrealist works of Genesis Belanger and Emily Mae Smith, and the autobiographically-natured works of Tracey Emin, opening a reflection on what is real, as well as the many ways of processing and representing reality.